Hit and Run Car Accidents
Every car accident leaves the parties involved in a state of flux, but few experiences can be more confusing or scary than if you are involved in a hit and run. Hit and run accidents are all too common, whether it involves accidents on the road, or accidents where nobody is present in the victim’s car. Hit and runs occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the driver may be doing something illegal, like driving drunk, or without insurance or a license; other times, the drivers simply panic and their first instinct is to flee. However, the reason they leave does not matter. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal.
The Florida Statute
Florida statute 316.027 regards hit and runs. It states that the driver of a vehicle that has been involved in a crash that resulted in an injury other than serious bodily injury must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the crash and remain there until they have fulfilled the requirements of section 316.02. anyone who willfully violates that section commits a third degree felony. The requirements that need to be fulfilled by 316.02 include giving your name, address, and vehicle registrations number and show their license or permit to drive.
Hit and Run Penalties
Since performing a hit and run is a crime, there are serious penalties that arise from them. For a hit and run accident involving only property damage, that constitutes a second degree misdemeanor and can be punished with up to sixty days in prison and a $500 fine. If the hit and run accident results in injuries, that can be either a second or third degree felony. The driver’s license can be revoked for at least three years, and you can possibly serve up to five years in prison and be responsible for a $5,000 fine. Finally, for a hit and run accident that results in death or multiple deaths, that is a first degree felony with a revoked license for at least three years. There is also a mandatory minimum of four years in prison with a maximum of thirty years, and a $10,000 fine.
What to Do as A Victim
If you have been the victim in a hit and run, what should you do? The first thing you should do is seek medical attention if you or a passenger has been seriously hurt. Then, contact the police and file a police report. Then, although it may be slight, you need to put together any evidence you may have on the hit and run driver or any information you may have on their identity.
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a hit and run accident, contact the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. to speak immediately to an experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyer to help guide you through your situation. We will help you throughout each step of your case.